Center City Philadelphia

Denny Hatch is the author of six books on marketing and four novels, and is a direct marketing writer, designer and consultant. His latest book is “Write Everything Right!” Visit him at

We needed a picture light, just a little fixture that attaches to the wall and hangs over a picture. No big deal. Or is it? First we went to a massive Lowe's—endless aisles that vanish seemingly to infinity. A cheerful greeter at the front door directed us to the electrical aisle. We could not find what we wanted.

"When in doubt, do the obvious,” said my first mentor in business, Franklin Watts. In 1993, my wife, Peggy, and I bought a Center City Philadelphia fixer-upper row house, which we gutted and turned into our dream pad. However, a number of the designer light fixtures were esoteric—not the kind stocked at the A&P or even The Home Depot.

Last year my sister-in-law sent my wife, Peggy, and me a Christmas gift from a New York City boutique, and it was never delivered. When questioned, the boutique owner said it had been shipped via Federal Express. When queried, FedEx said the package was left on the doorstep. Although I work at home, I must have been out when it was delivered.

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